Tottenham full-back Gareth Bale has undergone knee surgery and now faces a race to be fit for the start of the next Barclays Premier League season.
The 19-year-old pulled out of Wales' World Cup qualifier against Azerbaijan in Baku this week and an MRI scan showed a "medial meniscal tear," Spurs confirmed in a statement.
Bale played in his country's win over Estonia but the Football Association of Wales have insisted he did not pick up the problem during the friendly, as Spurs face up to an expected eight-week absence.
The teenager is still looking for his first win in the top flight after arriving from Southampton two years ago, although he has not been helped by injuries.
This season he has fallen behind Benoit Assou-Ekotto in the pecking order at left-back, with Spurs boss Harry Redknapp believing that the youngster needs to work on his defending.
An injury could prevent Bale being used to raise money if he was deemed surplus to requirements, as Redknapp is expected to sell players as well as bolster his squad to improve on last season.
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